1000 Lemon Meringue Pies

Yes, I know that’s a little over the top. By the time I’d finished the last one the first ones would have gone off a long time ago. Much as I love baking, even I would have got sick of it if I had to bake a thousand pies.

eva o'reilly 1000 likes

Yesterday was an amazing day for me on the blog. Not only was it the best day ever in terms of views and likes, it was also the day I got my “1000 Likes” badge from WordPress. On top of all that, some amazing person bought my book! Yes, another sale. It got me thinking about what being a writer means. Or at least means to me. It’s not just about publishing a book. Maybe the “hygge” craze is dying out a little and not many people want to read about a cosy Danish island, lots of cake and a love affair between an older woman and younger man. Older is relative, she’s in her early thirties.

But every day, I send something out into the world. Incredible people read it and some of them are kind enough to leave me a like or a comment. That’s what it’s about. Writing something that people enjoy enough to react to. I have that. And every day I am grateful for that, because with every like, every comment, I become more and more confident in my own abilities as a writer. So thank you so much, all of you who help me every day. I’m only sorry I can’t send you all a pie, or at least cut you a slice.

This is my father’s favourite dessert. I make it for him as often as I can. When he loses his appetite and nothing tastes right, I know he will always eat this. If baking a thousand pies would make him well again, I wouldn’t even hesitate before reaching for the mixing bowl.

It takes a while to make and there’s a lot to clean up afterwards, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

You will need:

pre-bake lemon meringue pie
Before it goes in the oven


  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g butter cut in small pieces
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white for the meringue)
  • 3 – 4 tbsp of water


  • 2 level tbsp cornflour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest 1 medium lemon
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 85g butter cut into pieces
  • 3 egg yolks and a 1 whole egg beaten together (save the whites for the meringues)


  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g golden caster sugar

You can make the pastry a day in advance. If not, set aside at least 1 – 1.5 hours for it to chill before baking.

Crumble the butter, flour and sugar together. Work in the egg yolk (save the white for the meringue and the water. Tip it onto a lightly floured surface and work until you have a nice, smooth dough. Roll it out with a rolling pin and line a pie dish or flan tin. Press the pastry into the flutes so you get the nicely shaped edges and there’s something to hold in the filling. If you’re not great with a rolling pin or just don’t have one, flatten little pieces of pastry with your hands and put them in the dish like a jigsaw puzzle. If it cracks, just stick back together. Prick it with a fork a few times, line with tin foil (shiny side down) and leave it to chill. You can chill, too.

When you’re ready for the next part, heat the oven to 200C. Bake the pastry blind (leave the foil on and fill it with something to keep it down – coffee beans are good and if you’re really desperate you can use rice) for about 12 minutes (Wonder Oven also lives at my parents’ house). Remove the foil and bake for another 5 – 8 minutes until it starts to turn golden. It will go back in again later so you don’t need to think that it needs to be completely done this time around.

Now for the filling. Get everything ready first, because once you start heating the mixture you don’t want to stop to get butter or separate eggs.

In a medium saucepan, mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest. Gradually stir in the lemon juice. Mix the orange juice with water so you end up with 200ml in total. Add it to the mixture. Cook over a medium heat and don’t stop stirring. It will gradually start to thicken, but don’t worry if it still seems thin. It will thicken as you go. Once it bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until it’s melted. Add the egg mixture, stir well and return to the heat. Keep stirring vigorously, after a few minutes it will start to thicken. It will plop from the spoon and might bubble, but won’t curdle. Remove from the heat and make the meringue.

lemon meringue pie

I use my never-fail meringues for this part, just increase the recipe.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff. If you can hold the bowl over your head without anything moving, you’re done. If not, clean yourself up, get some more eggs and start again. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

If it’s gone cold, heat up the filling again and pour it into the pastry case. Pile the meringue on top but start from the edges, not the middle. Make sure it covers the pastry, spread it around and pile the rest in the middle.

Bake for around 10 minutes (Wonder Oven again) until the meringue begins to go golden.

Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour and serve. If you can’t finish it all at once, it will keep in the fridge.

Happy Sunday!

Author: Eva O'Reilly

Writer, avid reader, large dog lover, cake baker and Francophile. Living in hope of finding either a literary agent or a large audience on Amazon.

57 thoughts on “1000 Lemon Meringue Pies

      1. Well, ah, I decided to hijack the idea I had for you! I wrote a book several years ago. It was so bad, I’d like to redeem myself! That said, as I’m out of practice, there may be a collaborative opportunity, or at least a fresh set of eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Alright! The story is essentially on recovering from success and failure, represented by two characters:

        Failure is a self marginalized man who lost his business and marriage some years earlier he inherited a small ferry business from a friend, on the edge of civilization. He writes poetry, in unrefined manner. Every year he becomes more reclusive, still kind and considerate with his remaining interactions.

        Success is, you guessed it, a woman. She is an author of a highly popular book series. All of her plans and dreams have come true! She hasn’t sensed it completely, but her world has nearly completely taken over her soul. Her writing has become mechanical and contrived. The deep friendships of her life have been replaced by attendants to her creative machine.

        Trying to push from her creative block, her administrative assistant loans her keys to her summer house on a remote island on Lake Superior, halfway across the continent. Their story together starts as she takes a ride across the bright waters, piloted by a kind man, who by chance, has asked another to run his business while he takes the summer off at his cabin on the island. This is the setting.

        The story continues with meetings, underlying conflicts, and friendships. She teaches him how to write. He shares his knowledge of life in the wilderness. Sparks. There is a wildfire between them, of course. But the underlying conflicts rise up to build walls.

        A major conflict arises. The story might resolve on the island or resume on the mainland. Either way, the story splits. Each tracking their own paths.

        Maybe he publishes to succeed and parallels her. Or maybe her profession falls apart. Either way, at some point, they both discover that life doesn’t create struggle, it is struggle. They reunite and live long bumpy but happy, loving lives.

        Pretty rough but there’s the gist.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Admittedly I’ve been reading your book in my spare time.

        Two other possible scenarios:

        First thought, after they seem to have made a connection, she spends a year back in her world, closing down her “machine” so that she can return to him. Finally ready but delayed a week. Returning to find in that week, he went out to take down an old white oak for the winter fires. As it turns out, he slipped as he was cutting it down, tree landing on his arm pinning him, taking several days to die. She decides to live her days in the cabin and run the ferry.

        Second idea is she goes back to the city and subsequently decides to stay. He gets lost in solitude. They both live on with their lonely existences.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh! She finds him clinging to his last minutes. He begs her to stay just a few minutes. The only way to save him is for her to get to her satellite phone back at the cabin and call for the seaplane. But it’s too late. As she runs off so are his last breaths

        Liked by 1 person

      5. The pain, now nearly gone his eyes swollen and sticky. He angles his sight, regarding a flurry of bright yellow birch leaves flutter dry fall breezes with fluttering chickadee. “What cheer” the whistle call. In his mind, she fades into view, deep leaves carpet living brushing her legs to pause. He sees her. His mind imagines his own lips lifted to smile and beckon her. “This is why I’m here…” come out as exhalations.

        She walked into the quiet woods, a painting beyond her feelings and joy, then pause. She sought her man who lay near, shallow breath, unseen. She still felt him whole with life.

        The little smile she bore shared thanks to tiny chickadee as she began to turn back to the cabin, were it not for the subtle gasps from nearby log, a fallen oak. She approached…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I am a fan of cookies! Yes, I’m enjoying your story. My reading time is spotty. I splurged and picked up an iPad. That helps a lot! Yeah, I think probably tragic. I might try to angle toward more absurd tragedy if I can puzzle it. Life takes unpredictable twists based on simple choices. Our lives are more based on easy, day to day decisions than major life ones, I’m thinking. I’m splitting you with another book right now. I hope you’re not jealous. 😉 Keep me posted on those cookies!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’m glad your enjoying it! Since I have three books on the go at the moment I couldn’t really be jealous 😉
        A tragic love story is always worth a good cry. Sometimes they’re the best kind 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. If it counts, I wrote a couple of science fiction stories when I was maybe nine. Then I picked up poetry at about thirteen. Dark brooody stuff. You know teenagers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Definitely counts. I started writing my own type of Famous Five stories about ‘The Four.’ Three kids and naturally a dog.
        I found some of my teenage poetry a few weeks ago. Very dark and broody.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Mine were typed on a good old-fashioned (although it seemed so modern then) electric typewriter. My dad’s company got their first Word Processor so he brought an old type writer home for me. It meant having to do my homework in the living room cause there was no more room on my desk but it was so “real” to write things with one of those.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I picked up an old “Royal” in my early twenties that probably weighed forty pounds! I needed plenty of White Out. I’m spoiled with spell check now. It’s nice to be more focused on getting things laid out without having to worry about the letters.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. White-out was the worst! Especially if you discovered the error after you’d taken the paper out of the machine. I never could get it lined up perfectly again, and I never had the patience to wait until it fully dried 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      13. My parents felt sorry for me and got me a portable electric with a little window that showed fifteen characters at a time, before putting them to paper. This gave me opportunities to backspace and correct on the fly.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I am developing new thoughts on my story concepts. It comes from pouring through materials I’ve been developing over the years. I’d like to see if I can build a story with a philosophical edge and an artistic base, if that would be at all marketable. In the end, we write for ourselves. But to share it effectively, it needs to make a general connection.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. My muse has stepped away. It’s affecting me like it shouldn’t. She warned me about getting attached. That’s how it goes. I’m having to push to let go…

        In the meantime, I will be diving into my story project. Work helps! I’m wondering if you are still interested in being a consultant. I’ve got an outline and a couple of chapters, if you’d like to look. I also want to run some character concepts past you, if you have a minute. I wrote the tragic moments of the story Sunday. I was having to constrain my emotions! Neighbors. Let me know! I set up a separate email address for this. You may do the same, if you want. Mine is dougsbookproject@gmail.com
        Quite descriptive, yes?

        Let me know either way!

        Liked by 1 person

      16. So sorry for not reply yesterday. I meant to and then work got in the way.
        I’d love to help if I can but it’s an incredibly busy time for me right now, so I’d be worried that I’d have to keep putting it off.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. That’s fine! Let me know if things improve. I’ve got a half dozen people looking at a poetry book I’ve decided to run… and an artist. It’s a lesson in patience for me. I’m still struggling with some main concepts. Perhaps when it’s a little more settled, I can send you chapters to browse?


      18. I had expected myself to be fuming all night, but once I knew this really was it, I stopped caring and the read in the sunshine was wonderfully therapeutic. I’ve always been very good at compromising, conciliating, making things work. But once I’m pushed just that little bit too far, it’s over and I never look back.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. I’m actually friends with my ex. I’ve thought if she’d start dating that it would bother me, even though I casually look on my own. I’m impossible to shop for… I had a five year gap of not dating in my mid twenties, back when it was easier to find other singles. I have that beat these days! 😉 Looking back, I know her mind is set and I’m fine with it. In general I’m a well adjusted single who gets thrown off every so often, as do most, probably. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So many thoughts come to mind. I’ll be cryptic:
    1. Pi(e) day is tomorrow in U.S. notation: 3.14
    2. “1000 Lemon Meringue Pies”
    -Reminds me of the Japanese legend “1000 Origami Cranes”
    -Anyone who folds 1000 cranes will be granted a wish
    3. “Hygge” is real? Well, well.
    -That’s the opening song title in Act II of the new musical Frozen
    -I thought it was a fictitious word; now I’m fully informed
    4. As a writer, you may not get rich, but YOU are making other lives richer
    -You may quote me, though I’m sure it’s been said
    -Congrats on your “Likes” (actually “Loves”) and your books

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a Frozen musical?! I have to see that.
      Hygge is very real – we absorb it through osmosis. It’s how I got my ex-husband to move in with me – that and getting all the sports channels 😀
      And thank you for number 4.


      1. I’ve picked up muses here, over the past six months. It’s been a little tough on my soul but has inspired hundreds of pieces. I’m thinking I’m in need of a good project!🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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